How can you tell if a sapphire is real?


Quick Answer

Examine a sapphire under strong light with a jeweler's loupe to look for scratches, bubbles and light reflections that indicate the stone's origins. If in doubt, a certified gemologist can give a definitive answer as to whether or not the stone is genuine.

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Full Answer

A sapphire can have greater value if it is large, deeply colored and clear. False stones attempt to mimic these qualities.

Step 1: Use a jeweler's loupe

This is a small magnifying glass that allows the user to spot small imperfections in the stone.

Step 2: Look at the stone under bright light

Bright light helps those examining the stone to see telltale signs that a stone is fake. It also reflects more light. Genuine sapphires should always reflect the same color as the stone rather than different colors.

Step 3: Look for scratches

Diamonds are the only stones harder than sapphires, so there should never be a scratch on a genuine sapphire.

Step 4: Look for bubbles

Genuine sapphires do not have bubbles inside the stone, but glass replicas can. If there are bubbles present, the stone is not genuine.

Step 5: Talk to a gem expert

If examining a purported sapphire does not yield enough clues, a certified gem expert can clear the issue up once and for all.

Learn more about Precious Metals & Gems

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